Teagasc National Farm Survey, 2000-2017

Study Number (SN): 0052-00


An Teagasc. National Farm Survey [data collection]. Version 1. Dublin: Irish Social Science Data Archive SN: 0052-00  http://www.ucd.ie/issda/datasetsintheissda/teagascnationalfarmsurvey/ 


The NFS has been conducted on an annual basis by Teagasc since 1972. The purpose of the survey is to determine the financial situation on Irish farms by measuring the level of gross output, costs and income across the spectrum of farming systems and sizes. A random nationally representative sample is selected each year in conjunction with the Central Statistics Office. Each farm in the survey is assigned a weighting factor so that the results of the survey are representative of the national population of farms. The survey is operated as part of the Farm Accountancy Data Network of the EU and it fulfils Ireland’s statutory obligation to provide data on farm output, costs and income to the European Commission on an annual basis.

The principal measure of the income used is Family Farm Income per Farm (FFI). This is calculated by deducting all the farm costs (direct and overhead) from the value of farm gross output. Unpaid family labour is not included as a cost. FFI therefore represents the financial reward to all members of the family, who work on the farm, for their labour, management and investment. It does not include income from non-farming sources and thus may not be equated to household income.

Agricultural economics Crops Fertilizers
Agricultural equipment Dairy farming Grants
Agricultural products Expenditure Horses
Agricultural yields Farm vehicles Income
Agriculture Farms Livestock
Cattle Feeds Sheep




Up to 1,000 farms participated annually in the (NFS) 2007– 2012. These farms are weighted to represent a national population of approximately 100,000 farms (please refer to Teagasc National Farm Survey annual reports for additional details on each individual years data)

For the 2012 Teagasc National Farm Survey, farms below €8,000 of Standard Output (SO) were no longer included in the sample. Up to this the threshold for inclusion of farms in the survey field had been €4,000 SO. The excluded farms represent 18% of the total farm population but they contribute only about 5% of the sector’s gross output. As a result a straightforward comparison between the 2012 results and those of preceding years could easily lead to an incorrect interpretation of intervening changes. It must be borne in mind that the population of farms represented in the 2012 NFS sample is smaller than previous years and the survey in 2012 represents 79,103 farm holdings which represent 93% of the sectors output.

Observation units


Temporal coverage

Dates of fieldwork: 01/01/2000 to 31/12/2015

Time dimensions

Panel study
Random stratified sample of farms

Geographical coverage

  • Republic of Ireland
  • 8 regions

Methods of data collection

Paper and pencil interviewing

Random: The Teagasc National Farm Survey, is a random stratified sample based on the CSO Farm Structures Survey. The farms are stratified according to Farm System and Size (UAA - Utilised agricultural area in hectares).

Data is provided voluntarily by farmers, collected by farm recorders who are assigned to particular geographical areas. The recorders collect data from circa 80 farms each, via 12 Month detailed farm accounts. The recorder visits farms on average twice per year, collecting the data electronically and provides an individual farm report on completion of the survey. Data is quantifiable and verifiable for all farms, being validated and verified as collected on series of excel spreadsheets and further validated in-house via suite of validation programs. Primarily economic data is collected on farms, but also technical & demographic data is collected.


The farms are weighted according to the Farm System they are contained in and the farm Size (UAA).

Additional details on how weights are derived is contained in Appendix B and Appendix C of Annual Teagasc NFS Reports.

Response rate

Response rate on the sample selected annually is 100% as once farm is selected, canvassed and is on survey it is then visited by the farm recorder. In some exceptional circumstances a farm may not be included if for health/other reasons data may not be collected.

There is an annual attrition rate of circa 10% with additional farms canvassed to cover the shortfall in that particular system/size category.


Data (available through ISSDA application process)

File name

File format/s

Contents of file

NFS_2000_2017_include Variable Listing

Microsoft Excel

Farm data 2000-2017, including NFS coding, variable listing and data



Variable listings and definitions are now included in the data file, available by completing a request form as described below.

File name File format/s Contents of file
Teagasc National Farm Survey 2015 Results PDF National Farm Survey 2015 Report

Teagasc National Farm Survey 2014

PDF National Farm Survey 2014 Report
National Farm Survey Results 2013 PDF National Farm Survey 2013 Report
National Farm Survey 2012 PDF National Farm Survey 2012 Report

National Farm Survey 2011


National Farm Survey 2011 Report

National Farm Survey 2010 PDF National Farm Survey 2010 Report

National Farm Survey 2009 Report

PDF National Farm Survey 2009 Report
National Farm Survey Report 2008 PDF National Farm Survey 2008 Report
National Farm Survey Report 2007 PDF National Farm Survey 2007 Report
National Farm Survey Report 2006 PDF

National Farm Survey 2006 Report

National Farm Survey Report 2005 PDF National Farm Survey 2005 Report
National Farm Survey Report 2004 PDF

National Farm Survey 2004 Report

National Farm Survey 2003

External Link National Farm Survey 2003 Report
National Farm Survey 2002 External Link

National Farm Survey 2002 Report

National Farm Survey 2001 External Link National Farm Survey 2001 Report
National Farm Survey 2000 External Link National Farm Survey 2000 Report



Teagasc National Farm Survey


Teagasc National Farm Survey Reports




Accessing the data

To access the data, please complete a ISSDA Data Request Form for Research Purposes, sign it, and send it to ISSDA by email.

Data will be disseminated on receipt of a fully completed, signed form. Incomplete or unsigned forms will be returned to the data requester for completion.

Please note that any reference to signature and date in this document can be read as meaning the typed name and date where such an application is forwarded electronically. 


Conditions on data usage

It is important that a database on Data usage/Publication is retained so as to inform future data collection and usage. Arising
form this, a condition of using NFS data is that a copy of all papers/articles/reports using or reporting NFS data is to be
emailed to nfs@teagasc.ie or forwarded to :-

National Farm Survey
Agricultural Economics & Farm Surveys Department,
Mellows Campus,
Co. Galway


Any work based in whole or part on resources provided by the ISSDA, should  acknowledge: “Teagasc NFS”; and also ISSDA, in the following way: “Accessed via the Irish Social Science Data Archive - www.ucd.ie/issda”.




Journal Articles

Hynes, S. and Morrissey, K. and O'Donoghue, C, Clarke, G. (2009) A Spatial Microsimulation Analysis of Methane Emissions from Irish Agriculture. Ecological Complexity, 6 (2). pp. 135-146. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ecocom.2008.10.014

Hynes, S. and Morrissey, K. and O'Donoghue, C, Clarke, G. (2009) Building a Static Farm Level Spatial Microsimulation Model for Rural Development and Agricultural Policy Analysis in Ireland. International Journal of Agricultural Resources, Governance and Ecology, 8 (2). pp. 282-299. http://dx.doi.org/10.1504/IJARGE.2009.026230